Sunday, July 29, 2012


Sparkling Basil Lemonade
  • 4 cupswater
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (about 1-1/2 ounces)
  • 2 1 liter bottles club soda, chilled
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, sliced*
  • Fresh basil leaves
1. For basil syrup, in a large saucepan combine water, sugar, and basil. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Strain syrup and discard leaves. Cover and chill syrup for 2 to 24 hours.
2. For lemonade, in a very large punch bowl combine chilled syrup, club soda, and lemon juice. Serve over ice and garnish with jalapeno slices and fresh basil leaves.
From the Test Kitchen
  • Tip *Tip:Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If bare hands touch the peppers, wash hands and nails well with soap and warm water.


While vacationing in Gruene Texas I came across a brand new store called Splendid and Spark.
Gruene Lake Village shopping center:
2339 Gruene Lake Drive, Suite B
New Braunfels, TX 78132
I  immediately loved the kitchy cards and trinkets and was seduced by the vibrant beauty of the Guatemalan embroidered table linens by Fresco Fabrics.

Megan Geist is the owner of Splendid and Spark. She definitely puts the spark in it. She is just adorable, perky, fun and knowledgeable. When you meet her you wish she was your Best Friend. She is crafty and talented and just a pleasure to chat with.

My husband and step son were rushing me as they wanted to go float the river. So we left but I could not get those beautiful linens out of my mind.

I plied my husband with lots of sugar and sweetness and we went back first thing the next morning and he got me the place mats and the runner.
The photos above are of my dining room with my beautiful new linens.

I didn't know anything about Guatemalan textiles so I will share these notes from Fresco Fabric's website:

When Guatemalan artisans weave their richly colored textiles, they bring to life designs their Mayan ancestors adapted from Spanish Conquistadores in the 16th century.

Infused with regional color schemes and motifs, they are like no other textiles in the world and are still worn daily by the people of Guatemala. We have long collected Guatemalan textiles. Their beauty and originality inspired us to launch a line of home-enhancing products while providing a new market for Guatemalan textile artists.

Slight slubs and variations result from the hand weaving process and are considered part of its beauty and appeal and should not be considered defects.


This is an elaborate process done by one weaver using a foot pedal treadle loom without electricity. The cotton is from Guatamala. To make 120 yards of the textile it involves the following process:
  • Week to dye the thread colors
  • Two weeks to prepare the pattern designs
  • One week for the preparation of all the threads
  • One week to combine the threads according to the width of the textile in the loom
  • Two weeks to make the textile


I have 3 large Red Earred Slider Rescued Turtles. 
 Texas went thru a severe drought a year ago, and many turtles seeking water were wandering out into roadways and being run over. I was with a client when we came across Tululah  the first turtle. I didnt know anything about  turtles but quickly started researching the subject and build a small pond for her out of a horse through submerged into the ground. Tululah preferred living in our banana tree for the first year. Around November she disappeared only to reappear around ground hog day. Thats when I learned turtles hibernate. This year before the blessed rains started , I found TaWanda (named after the movie 'Fried Green Tomatoes"), our third turtle Tinkerbell was dropped off by someone who new about the others and figured I would give it a good home. After that I started getting calls from folks wanting to drop off found turtles. I had to decline because the trough was no longer big enough. I sent my husband the link to a raised turtle pond I saw online and he built it for me. It came out beautifully. It was pretty pricey to build because of the costly filtration system. I added some gold fish and rosies (50) to add some color. so far everyone seems to be living together happily. The turtles eat very well. I feed them greens twice aday and they also get fruits and melons. I will have to post a video of feeding time.

The Fourth of July....

 Beaujolais ready for the parade

 Sally Jo

Normally we ride our decorated bicycles in the annual 4th of July parade.
This year the powers that be decided to change the parade to a nighttime parade and move it to the seawall.
Logistically I felt it would be safer for us to just decorate the 4Runner and throw trinkets this year. We were #22 in the line up.  It was a nice parade with a great turn out. More of a turn out than I expected. We ended up running out of candy and trinkets the last 4 blocks.
Everyone had a really good time . My stepson Grayson is a little ham and I knew he would end up loving the Uncle Sam suit. He walked along side the vehicle throwing treats the entire route.
Afterwards we all got ice cream and watched the fireworks.